How to Read Books Under Budget

How to Read Books Under Budget

Disclosure: Some of the links below are affiliate links. This means that, at zero cost to you, I will earn an affiliate commission if you click through the link and finalize a purchase.

We all know being a book lover comes with its own expenses. No, I’m just talking about the price but the space it takes up can make it difficult for you to indulge in your favorite hobby. If you are someone like me who reads 2 books per week, the price can quickly escalate to cost more than your internet bill. 

But have you ever looked back and noticed the large pile of books that you long feel attached to? So is breaking your bank really worth it for the books that end up collecting dust at the back of your cupboard? 

If you feel this, there is a solution. 


Ways You Can Read Books Under Budget

Here are the top 8 ways you can read books under budget.


1. Library

This is the most apparent solution to reading books under budget. If you have access to a library, you have no idea how lucky you are! Or as Neil Gaiman, the author of American Gods, likes to say “ If There’s a Heaven, It’s a Library,” and I couldn’t agree more. 

Here you can use free WiFi, electricity, and countless books that will help indulge you in the life of your favorite characters and stories for hours. It can also be a gateway from your normal busy life to studying, brainstorm new ideas. Not just this, most of the libraries also have a myriad of audiobooks, music, DVDs, games, newspapers, and books you can borrow for free or for a low fee. It can also be a great way to save money if you are a magazine fan who can’t afford to spend a bunch on all of your favorite magazines every week.

However, if a public library isn’t accessible for you, there are other options that are surely worth a shot. 


  • Local churches: They often have their own libraries which may not be as diversified as your regular library but it can do the trick as long as you find your favorite books there.
  • Thrift stores: these are the best stores to buy the best books on a budget. They not only offer the usual paperbacks but some also come with a good collection of antique books at cheaper prices. 
  • Local grocery stores: although they have a limited choice of books and magazines, this can be a great way to buy children’s books under budget. 


2. Used Book Stores/Used books from Amazon

Not all towns have specific used books stores, however, most regular bookshops usually have a separate section for all the used books. If you are on a tight budget, go to your local bookstore and ask for used books that they may have. 

If that’s not available to you, Amazon is all the way to tackle this problem too. For almost all of their books, you can now get a used version for a significantly lower price to stay under your budget. 


3. Book Exchange or Swap

This is a fantastic event for not only kids at school but for adults as well. If you have never experienced this in school earlier, this is where you conduct an event to encourage reading through swapping books. Bring a book, take a book so no one goes home with the same book collection they initially came with. It is an effective way to recycle books when you don’t feel like reading the same books for the 43rd time!

Likewise, this can also be done among friends circles or with neighbors, where you get together for a party and require everyone to bring a book to exchange or swap. Later, it is up to you if you want to lend it or give it away to your friends. 


4. Overdrive/Libby

If you have a library card, there is another great way you can put that to use. Let’s admit it: sometimes it can be a pain to borrow books in front of the library, and strict return deadlines can surely add more stress on people who like to take their time to read. 

In times like these, Libby (also known as Overdrive) can be a great way to access public books using your library card! Yes, that’s right. 

Simply download the app, create an account, approve your valid library card and read unlimited ebooks and audio right at the comfort of your home. This is excellent for people who love to explore books and pile them on their reading list. 

That’s not even the best part; Libby lets you access all the bookstores nearby offering discounts and deals, so you are armed with lots of choices to take your pick! 


5. Trade with Friends

I get it, conducting such book swap events may not be the best bet for everyone; that’s why I have this solution for you. You certainly don’t have to go the extra mile to get books for cheaper. Count on apps like NextDoor to help you trade books with others. Many neighborhoods leave their books in their porches or garages, this can be your time to seize and get books for free. However, bear in mind to wipe down all the books with disinfecting wipes (while you are wearing your mask) and leave them out in the garage for a day or to bring them home. 

Other than that, if you don’t have your neighborhood on NextDoor, then simply ask your books if they would like to trade books with you. If you have bookworms as your friends, they will surely be up for that. 


6. Become a Book Blogger

As strange as it may be, being a book blogger comes with its own set of perks, and getting books for free makes a good proportion of it. After you have established your identity on the internet and have gained significant monthly users, you will notice authors (mostly indie) approaching to send a free book in return for a book review. Although it may take a long time to get to this level, once you get a little recognition, you will notice the success snowballing and your bookshelves filling. 


7. Arcs

This is the same as book blogging but has a slightly different approach. If you have a book blog, book tube channel or are active on Goodreads, ARCs (Advance Reader Copies) is a great way to get books that aren’t released yet. Here depending on how good your profile is, authors will send you free books to read and review to make sure you are never running out of books. 

Bear in mind since it’s a platform made to specifically help authors, you have given deadlines to download and review the books. If you miss any one of them, you will get to see your scores slowly decreasing. Therefore, it is recommended to finish off your book first before taking on a new project. 


8. Checkout Websites that Offer Free eBooks

Here comes the easiest way to read as many books as you want at literally ZERO cost. There are countless websites out there that offer free PDF ebooks online to help you read under budget. Unlike the rest of the methods that will let you build communities and relationships in the bookish industry, this is where you simply hover over to a site and download any book you want. 

What’s the catch, I hear you ask?

You may not be able to access every book you like. However, most of the classics are readily available. Here are the best websites that offer free eBooks. 


Get The Latest Updates

Subscribe To Get Notified For Latest Blog posts

Be the first one to know all the latest book reviews, summaries, and guides.